North Korea expected to announce position on latest sanctions

Issues before ASEAN ministers meeting in Manila

Tillerson made the comments as he attended the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Manila.

Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said Wednesday that the adoption of a framework for the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea is a very positive step for the ASEAN-China relations.

At the same time, China urged the US not to increase tensions, saying it had reached a critical point.

Concern has mounted that North Korea is developing its missile technology quicker than expected, after tests last month of missiles that experts said are capable of striking the USA mainland, perhaps as far inland as Chicago.

'Our goal is to bring all parties involved in the nuclear issue back to the negotiating table ... to realise the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, ' Wang said on the sidelines of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings in Manila.

The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was also present during the forum.

On Sunday, he declared the latest United Nations sanctions a "good outcome". In 2012, as chair of the ASEAN meet, Cambodia helped kill a similar statement on the South China Sea and for the first time in its 45-year history the body failed to issue a joint statement after a foreign ministers' meeting. And the White House says they committed to fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the global community to do so as well.

"It is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has acquired nuclear warheads", the ministry said in a report released on Tuesday, according to NBC news.

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But the diplomatic road ahead is rocky.

ASEAN failed to issue the customary statement on Saturday, over what diplomats said was disagreement about whether to make oblique references to China's rapid expansion of its defence capabilities on artificial islands in disputed waters. "So it is all about how we see their attitude towards approaching a dialogue with us". Themed "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World", the summit, which will end on August 8, is also participated by non-ASEAN states, including the United States. The response has been polite but noncommital. But it was put off because of reasons on the USA side.

Tillerson met for about an hour with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

President Donald Trump appears to understand North Korea's threat, but the actions he plans to take are unclear. It has long accused the United States and South Korea of escalating tensions by conducting military drills.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

"If I insisted that that won't be there, there's a possibility it won't be there, there's a possibility we won't have a joint communiqué", he added.

The ASEAN conference also addressed other issues of regional concern.

The South China Morning Post has followed up with story citing two reasons why Vietnam is especially sensitive to China's claims to territory in the South China Sea - it has both land and sea borders with China, and as a geographically narrow coastal country, is vulnerable to maritime attack.

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